Welcome back, Dear Readers! Has this week has treated you well? Whether it's been a head-down-keep-moving-slog or a delightful dance, I hope you're ready to write today, write just for yourself, just for the joy of it.
If you're not ready - if you're already checking your watch or phone, feeling that stressed clutch in the tummy that says: 'You don't have time!' - that's a sign you need to make time.
I don't know you, but I can make you this promise: the roof will cave in because you took ten minutes for yourself today. You are allowed to take ten minutes for yourself. You are allowed to experience ten minutes of pure joy. This is your official permission slip, if you need one: you are allowed this.
You own the next ten minutes. Set your timer but don't put it somewhere that you can see it or stress out over it. Pick up your pen, open up your word processing programme. View the waiting blank page as a friend you are about to get to know better.
Pick a prompt. Any prompt. Mix two, or three - or, if something else occurs to you, go with that instead. We are not the prompt police. Do what makes you happy.
Remember not to waste your ten minutes or your imaginative energy editing or revising. Put a piece of paper over the lines as you write them, set your font to the same colour as the page so that it's invisible. We don't care about spelling, grammar, awkward phrases, punctuation or typos. We don't know her.
When you've finished, save your work, close your notebook - and walk away. You don't need to re-read this writing, assess it, fix it. That's not what it's for. It's about joy, not results. If/when you do read it again, make sure that you do so in a spirit of curiosity and interest, but without expectation. Then, if it turns out to be a deathless piece of prose, that's a lovely bonus.
Onto today's prompts!
"The grey cat's eyes flashed, golden in the flickering candlelight..."
I wish you good paper, smoothly running ink, and a non-cramping hand - but above all, Dear Readers, I wish you joy.